printer-friendly version   Printer-Friendly Version  

ADHD Medications Can Cause Hallucinations

The side effects of ADHD medications are indeed worrisome, and the worst of these are psychiatric symptoms like hallucinations, paranoia, and hearing voices.  A study published in the journal Pediatrics reported that 1 out of 1,000 children taking ADHD medications experiences hallucinations and other serious symptoms.  Although the occurrence of these psychotic side effects only affects a very small portion of the population, can you imagine how traumatizing it is for an eight-year-old child to hallucinate worms and other insects crawling all over his body?  ADHD medication might suppress the hyperactivity and inattention that plague these children, but at what cost?

Scientists are not sure why some children experience such violent psychotic reactions to these medications, but it makes more sense when you find out that ADHD drugs belong to the same chemical family as cocaine and amphetamines.  While their active ingredients do increase the levels of norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain, they also tend to degenerate the structure of the brain with long-term use.  The psychotic side effects experienced by children on ADHD medications are startlingly similar to those experienced by adult users of cocaine.

But hallucinations are only the tip of the iceberg.  Researchers discovered that at least ten children and adolescents died due to the drug Concerta between 2000 and 2005.  Six of these deaths were from suicide.  At least four suicides by teens taking Adderall are also known.  Most children who died drug-related deaths never had a single psychotic episode before taking the medication, nor were they genetically predisposed to developing a psychiatric condition.  They had taken the medication exactly as instructed by their doctors.  As for the children who did survive their stint with ADHD medications, the hallucinations and psychotic episodes stopped as soon as they stopped taking the drugs.

These findings did not cause the drugs to be pulled off the market, but the Food and Drug Administration did place a new warning about the possible psychiatric side effects of ADHD medication.   As mentioned earlier, the chances of experiencing these severe side effects are 1 in 1,000.  But would are you willing to take that risk?  What if your child becomes that 1 in 1,000?

While ADHD medications are easily the most convenient and available treatment for the disorder, they are certainly not the only treatment option out there.  Instead of giving your child a potentially harmful chemical treatment for ADHD, consider an all-natural holistic treatment plan instead.  Treating ADHD naturally not only avoids all these troublesome side effects. Unlike ADHD medications, whose benefits last only several hours, the effects of natural ADHD treatments will help your child overcome ADHD for good. 

When you consider the treatment options for your child, take the time to weigh the pros and cons of each.  All parents want what's best for their children, and it only makes sense to choose a safe treatment plan that will bring a lifetime of benefits.